MSI B450 Gaming Plus and
MSI B450M Gaming Plus

MSI has decided to go one step further than competing vendors launching a minimum of a dozen B450 boards, with a  mixture of gaming branded ATX, microATX and Mini-ITX offerings, as well as some more subtle looking models from their budget-friendly Arsenal range. First up is the B450 and B450M Gaming Plus models which aside from sharing similar aesthetics and feature set, the B450 Gaming Plus is full sized ATX, whereas the B450M Gaming Plus conforms to the slightly smaller microATX form factor.


MSI B450 Gaming Plus (left) and MSI B450M Gaming Plus (right)

The general theme of the MSI Gaming branding since the introduction back in 2013 has always been red and black, with both these Gaming branded models conforming to that theme. The heatsinks feature a black metallic sheen with red accents which has been carried over and has been printed onto the jet-black PCB. Neither the B450 or B450M Gaming Plus mentions RGB backlighting, but both boards have two 5050 RGB headers built in.

Starting with the ATX variant, the B450 Gaming Plus has two full-length PCIe slots with the top slot having a PCIe 3.0 x16 interface, and the bottom slot running at PCIe 2.0 x4. Also present is a total of four PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. The B450M Gaming Plus has a single full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and is complemented by a pairing of PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. Both boards use MSI’s Steel Armor on the top full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot.

While both boards have support for DDR4-3466 right from the get-go, the B450 Gaming Plus has a total of four RAM slots giving a maximum supported capacity of 64 GB, whereas the B450M Gaming Plus has two slots allowing for a total capacity of up to 32 GB of system memory.


MSI B450 Gaming Plus (left) and MSI B450M Gaming Plus (right)

While both boards have a single M.2 slot, the ATX version supports PCIe 3.0 x4/SATA drives up to a maximum size of M.2 22110 (22 x 110 mm), and the microATX B450M Gaming Plus having room for up to M.2 2280 (22 x 80 mm); this is a side effect of having a smaller form factor. The full-sized version has a total of six SATA ports with four featuring right-angled connectors, with the other two sporting straight angled ports. The B450M has a total of four right-angled SATA 6 Gbps ports, with both boards offering the capability for RAID 0, 1 and 10 arrays.

Providing power to both the B450/B450M Gaming Plus is a 24-pin ATX power connector, while the CPU gets an 8-pin ATX 12 V input. From a quick glance the MSI B450M Gaming Plus looks like it has a 4+3 phase configuration, with the ATX sized model having a 4+2 power delivery. The B450 Gaming Plus has a heatsink covering the entirety of the power delivery, whereas the B450M’s heatsink covers the CPU area, leaving the SoC MOSFETs to be passively cooled by whatever method of system cooling is available.

The B450 Gaming Plus has a total of six 4-pin fan connectors with four being set aside for case fans, a single connector for the CPU fan and a dedicated header for water pumps. The B450M Gaming Plus has a three in total with two being dedicated to case fans and one specifically for the CPU fan. Both models have the capability to expand on USB ports, with the B450M Gaming Plus having a total of four internal headers which allows for an additional four USB 3.1 5 Gbps ports and four USB 2.0 ports. The ATX B450 Gaming Plus has the option to add an additional four USB 3.1 5 Gbps ports and two USB 2.0 ports through its internal headers.


MSI B450 Gaming Plus (top) and MSI B450M Gaming Plus (bottom) rear panels

The rear panels on both boards look strikingly similar with only a few minor differences. The B450 Gaming Plus has two USB 3.1 10 Gbps Type-A ports, with two USB 3.1 5 Gbps Type-A ports as well as two USB 2.0 ports; both models also feature a Clear CMOS button and a PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port. The B450 Gaming Plus does have a slightly beefier audio with the six 3.5mm audio jacks being powered by a Realtek ALC892 audio codec, whereas the B450M makes do with three 3.5mm jacks controlled by a slightly lower grade Realtek ALC887 codec. The single LAN port on both boards is driven by the Realtek 8111H Gigabit LAN controller and both boards have support for the Ryzen and Vega APUs with HDMI and DVI-D outputs.

While MSI has limited pricing pre-launch, the B450 Gaming Plus looks to cost around $109.99 at launch which would represent relatively modest value for money. The B450M Gaming Plus should by rights come in at around $99.99, but once official pricing is confirmed on the smaller microATX model, we will update.

GIGABYTE B450M DS3H MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
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  • eastcoast_pete - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    Thanks Gavin, I know this is a lot of information to go through and present. I would love to see a follow-up on these questions:
    1. Especially for these compact boards, any problems with stock processor heat sinks blocking DIMM slots, i.e. do DIMMs with heat spreaders still fit with a Wraith or Spire cooler, respectively?
    2. I have my eye on the Aorus Pro WiFi or something similar, but am wary of the placement of the WiFi antenna connectors right next to two of the USB 3 connectors. I frequently use 3-4 USB 3 devices at the same time frequently, and am wary of the USB 3 - WiFi interference with that placement. Any chance Gigabyte could state if/that they got that taken care of?

    Thanks!
    Also, still looking forward to your Ryzen 2200/2400 GPU overclock chapter on that duo. Any chance we'll see it soon?
    Reply
  • sonofgodfrey - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    Second to last table is labeled X470 Motherboards. Reply
  • PingSpike - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    It looks like the ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F GAMING inherits some of the layout features of the (much more expensive) x470 Crosshair 7 in that it steals some of the CPU lanes to get a second full PCI-e 3.0 M.2 slot. Then 8x goes to PCI-e 16 1, the remaining 4x to PCI-e 16 2 and finally a chipset PCI-e 2.0

    On the surface, this seems like it has totally ignored the bifrucation limitations that supposedly are inherent to the B450 chipset.

    In other words, I thought you couldn't get that on this chipset.
    Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - link

    well at least the pricing is "more inline" with the pricing they should be, newer boards, better componentes that actually save the maker a bit of coin per board made, so they keep the same "launch price" is acceptable in my books coming from gen 1 (I so hate the naming AMD used for Ryzen 1xxx and 2xxx needless confusion for nothing)

    x3xx to x4xx same concept, reduced price to produce so they save some money, but the vast majority of vendors used these "savings" to cram more disco light show RGB on the boards to jack the price up some instead.

    seems at least with the B4xx boards the vendors took a "better" approach beyond a few more "premium" boards which rightfully have an increased price (justifiable, maybe, but I myself have zero need of RGB and would only buy a more expensive board that offered them at the increased price if they were WORTH it as far as just overall better then lower cost boards, sadly, there seems to be little difference in more "premium" beyond a butt load of extra RGB little better in VRM etc which are much more useful and required IMO)

    they could almost have a market for the premium boards RGB free, so pay a bit less for people like me who do not want all the RGB crud but still get the increased premium sound/VRM/BIOS etc ^.^
    Reply
  • WasHopingForAnHonestReview - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    Nice review. Good work.

    Im amazed that almost every comment is a nitpick. Rough life, Ian.
    Reply
  • Flappergast - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    Nice overview on the last page. I’m looking for mITX WiFi - nice to see some good boards Reply
  • Sakkura - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    As documented by Buildzoid, the Asrock B450 Pro4 does not have the claimed 6+3-phase VRM. It is a pure 3+3-phase. Same probably applies for the B450M Pro4.

    https://youtu.be/yWAwOH-egFs?t=2104
    Reply
  • JohanPirlouit - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    Hi everyone,

    Am I the only one to see that on the AMD picture:
    - CPU: 2x SATA 3Gbps
    - Chipset: 6x SATA 3Gbps

    What do AMD talks about: SATA "3" (known as "6Gbps") or SATA 3Gbps (aka SATA II)?
    Reply
  • Sakkura - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    They mean SATA3 = SATA 6Gbps. Annoying that we keep running into these easily confused naming schemes (see also: USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen2). At least SATA is getting old enough that we should soon be able to just drop the version number (unlike USB 2.0 there's really no reason to make modern hardware with SATA2). Reply
  • JohanPirlouit - Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - link

    Thanks Sakkura ;-) .... And I also agree with you.. Reply

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